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Arik Armstead is entering his eighth season with the San Francisco 49ers since being drafted in the first round by the team in 2015.

Last season, Armstead notched a career-high 63 total tackles after moving to a primarily interior role on the defensive line. In fact, Pro Football Focus listed Armstead as an "Underrated Veteran" on their 2022 edge rusher rankings.

Keep reading to learn more about San Francisco's defensive lineman.

Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Nominee

The 49ers named Armstead their 2020 and 2021 nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, an award given annually to a player demonstrating outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.

Armstead has been a consistent philanthropist, with a particular focus on education in his hometown of Sacramento, California. In September of 2021, Armstead made his largest donation to date when he pledged $250,000 to Mercy Housing California, an affordable housing organization.

In 2021, he continued to grow his Storytime with Arik Armstead program to motivate students to read. In addition to visiting schools in person and via Zoom to read to classrooms, Armstead helped distribute books to over 2,000 San Francisco Unified School District students and over 2,000 Boys & Girls Club members that emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion and supported a black-owned business and two authors of color. Since May 2020, he has impacted nearly 5,000 youth from first to fifth grade, read live to 25 separate virtual classrooms in 21 school districts from Sacramento to Qatar, and covered topics such as equality, black history and sustainability.

Armstead Academic Project

Education is at the forefront of Armstead's commitment to the Bay Area, as the defensive lineman founded the Armstead Academic Project in 2019 to ensure every student, no matter their socioeconomic status, has direct access to a quality education through a positive learning environment and resources needed in order to thrive and be successful.

The Armstead Academic Project offers various tools to empower at-risk and underserved students, including creative and scholastic workshops, school supply programs and scholarships.

"When I sat down and thought about how I could have the biggest impact in Sacramento, the No. 1 glaring theme in terms of when you look at equality in our society, the achievement gap and financial gap between socioeconomic classes, education was glaring for me to address some of those issues," Armstead said.

Dual-Sport Athlete

If Armstead wasn't in the NFL, he would be playing basketball.

He was a three-year starter in basketball at Pleasant Grove High School in Sacramento and played two years at the University of Oregon before focusing solely on football for the 2014 season. He entered his high school senior season as the third-overall ranked prospect according to NorCalPrep.com's Top-40 rankings for the class of 2012.

"A big part of the recruiting pitch from Oregon was they were going to let me play two sports," Armstead said. "We only lost five games during my time there. I wanted to go somewhere with the chance to win and be a part of something special."

Hidden Talent

One of Armstead's hidden talents is his chess skills.

Armstead started playing virtual chess games on Chess.com and used it as a way to keep in contact with former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, now head coach of the New York Jets.

"I've got four wins and he's got about 14," Armstead said. "That's how we stay connected, just playing chess throughout the season. It gets competitive, we have a little rivalry."

Since joining Chess.com in 2018, Armstead has played over 2,300 games against "master level" bots, people from across the world and even the 49ers Faithful. Playing under the username ARIK916, Armstead has won 12 of his last 20 games on the site.

"I've definitely learned a lot over the past year and a half," Armstead said. "I've gotten a lot better, for sure... It's definitely addictive, my wife gets mad at me. That's what I do like before I go to sleep."

Multi-Sack Games

Since joining the 49ers in 2015, Armstead has racked up a total of 28.5 sacks. Here is a list of Armstead's career multi-sack games:

  • 10/27/19 vs. Carolina Panthers (QB Kyle Allen), 2.0 sacks, 11 yards
  • 11/11/19 vs. Seattle Seahawks (QB Russell Wilson), 1.5 sacks, 12 yards
  • 11/24/19 vs. Green Bay Packers (QB Aaron Rodgers), 2.0 sacks, 13 yards
  • 12/20/20 vs. Dallas Cowboys (QB Andy Dalton), 2.0 sacks, 17 yards
  • 1/9/22 vs. Los Angeles Rams (QB Matthew Stafford), 2.5 sacks, 17 yards
  • 1/22/22 vs. Green Bay Packers (QB Aaron Rodgers), 2.0 sacks, 18 yards
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